Tag Archives: Flash Fiction

Beyond the Veil for NYCmidnight Flash Fiction Challenge

Maggie’s worries about her sister’s wedding seemed to be unfounded.  It looked as though they might make it through the day without incident, when a familiar voice whispered against the back of her neck.

All of Gran’s tales of leprechauns and other wee folk had never prepared her for the likes of Aiden the Fair and Wise, as he liked to call himself.  It was traumatic enough being able to see beyond the veil between worlds, but he seemed to enjoy demolishing Maggie’s self control with childish pranks. 

“Why Maggie McGee, you look splendid in your wedding finery.  You should dress up more often.”

Maggie’s heart sank like a stone in the pit of her stomach.

“Congratulations,” he said as he took Liz’s hand.  “I’m afraid I’ve surprised your sister beyond words.  I only knew but a few hours ago that I would be able to come.  I hope you will forgive Maggie’s date for his poor manners.”  He flashed Liz a charming smile and kissed her wrist.

Liz beamed at Maggie.  “You never mentioned a date.  Maggie, how splendid!”

Forced to play along, Maggie found her voice.  “Liz, this is Aiden.”

Liz pulled him closer and kissed his cheeks.  “I’m so glad you’re here,” she whispered as she released him to the groom and his family.

“Maggie, I don’t know whether to be angry with you or proud of you.  How could you keep such a dark and sexy guy like that all to yourself?  I had to fight the urge to nibble his ear just now.”

“Liz!”

“You’d better hang on to that one.  His kind can’t be found just anywhere.”

“You have no idea.”

As soon as she’d seen him, she began to  tremble and break out in a flop sweat. 

“Do you get some kind of sick thrill from tormenting me,” she hissed at Aiden as he took his place next to her at the table.

“Why, Maggie, whatever do you mean?” 

“Do you have any idea how much self control it takes just to live a normal life?  Most of your kind walk around in full glory, assuming that the poor mortals are clueless.  My own kind would think I’m completely bats if I reacted to things no one else could see.”

“I could help you put aside all that anxiety for a while, Maggie,” he offered as he laid a hand across the top of hers.

A sweet, calming warmth spread from her hand across her body.  She immediately felt at peace.  Then the comfort became intense pleasure.  Maggie jerked her hand away from him.

“Stop that!”

“I was only trying to help.  You’re far too uptight and not enjoying yourself.”

“I was enjoying just fine until you showed up.”

“I meant the way you live your life in general.”

“I live my life this way because I can SEE you!  If you really wanted to help, lift this curse from me.”

“You know that I can’t.”

“Some all powerful immortal you are,” she seethed just as the Best Man rose to give the first toast.

It would be her turn next.  Her heart pounded fiercely against her chest and her hands broke out in a sticky sweat.  As she reached for a napkin to dry her hands, she realized that it wasn’t perspiration but a white foam coating her palms. 

She shot a hard look at Aiden.  He smiled and raised  his glass to her. 

A clean soapy scent began to permeate the air.  Her hands had broken out in a sheen of shaving cream.  She wrapped her napkin around her glass.  It only helped a little.  She barely got the first two comments out of her mouth when the shaving cream began to foam up around the glass and drip.  She carried on a moment or two longer as if nothing was happening.  Then the build up of suds became too much, and the glass slipped from her grip.  She blurted out something like “to the bride and groom,” and bolted from the table.

Aiden rose before Liz could and assured her that he would look after Maggie.  He found her on a garden bench outside the hall, her face buried in the foaming pile in her hands. 

She looked up at him before he could touch her. 

“Did you enjoy your little prank,” she hissed.

“You have no one but yourself to blame for that.  Your fear is so strong we can feel the atmosphere vibrating with it.  If I hadn’t been around, you would have most likely burst into flames rather than harmless soap bubbles.”

“So I guess you’re some sort of guardian angel sent to save me from myself?”

“Of a sort, maybe.  You won’t survive long as a seer if you keep trying to control every little element around you.  The beauty of life is in the unexpected.  Do you think your sister Liz would have met the wonderful man she just married if she controlled her life the way you do?

You aren’t broken or cursed, Maggie.  You are of a very rare and gifted sort, and you need to learn to embrace it, rather than fight it.  Take pleasure in what you are.”

He was going to go on when Liz came toward them.

“Maggie, there you are.  Everyone is asking for you.  The whole party was about to go comatose thanks to dear Ewen’s droning toast.  That little shaving cream gag saved the day.  They all want to know how you did it!  Finish cleaning up and come back inside.  We are about to cut the cake.”

Aiden smiled and with the slightest gesture, the sticky mess was gone and Maggie looked even more radiant than ever.

“What say you, Miss Maggie McGee, will you return with me and give life a try?”


Vicious Editing

Challenge #2 did not come nearly so easily as the first one.  An idea popped into my head right away, but executing it was much more difficult.

The first draft was over 2200 words.  More than twice the maximum allowed.  Granted, I had rambled my way through much of the story, but by the time I’d trimmed it down to 1500 words, I felt like I would have to start sacrificing meat along with the fat.  I liked very much my solution for the need to mention shaving cream in the story, though.  I just hope that the judges can find something to love about it too.

My submission for the NYCmidnight Flash Fiction Challenge #2 is in with two hours to spare.


Pondering the Prompt

The NYCMidnight.com Flash Fiction Challenge continues this weekend.  After a month of waiting, the results of the first challenge are out and a new challenge is about to be issued.  Several of the writers I’ve gotten to know were very pleased with the way the first challenge went and are excited to get to writing again.

Currently a topic of discussion is the prompt.  What genre, setting, and object will we each be writing about this time?  What genre is each of the writers hoping to draw?

Personally, I could get excited about several genres.  At least I have ideas rattling around in my brain for several.

Science Fiction would be the top of my list, I think.  I’d like to explore some of the nuances of what it would be like to live with cybernetic limb replacements.

I think I could roll with a Political Satire, too.  I’m a bit of a pot-stirer, and I certainly have a firm grip on American political history.  Would be interesting to see what would happen when I put some unlikely people in a room together.

And then I got to thinking less about the genre and more about the object.  If I drew a Drama, I could certainly use the object as a “McGuffin” in the story.  Some of my favorite books and films use the “object of desire” device to great effect, like The Maltese Falcon or any of the Indiana Jones movies. 

A horror or ghost story would probably push me furthest out of my comfort zone, but I appreciate a challenge.  Could Ms. Hearts & Flowers pull off something scary?  Mmmmmmm…. could be….

Whatever the next writing challenge brings, you can be certain I’ll keep you posted.  For now I will try and be a good girl and wait for the prompt at midnight.


He’s Such a Nice Guy – for NYCMidnight’s Flash Fiction Challenge

“Good morning, gorgeous,” I could hear the familiar voice calling from the front of the shop.

Steve always stopped by with something fresh from the farm to share before the day got busy. I sat the tea-pot on the hot plate and went out to say hello.

“What’s fresh today, my friend? Tomatoes, cucumber, little green onions?”

“I thought I’d drop by with something special,” Steve smiled.

It was a full and genuine smile that crinkled a bit around blue eyes glittering with mischief. A sweet exotic fragrance was just beginning to fill the shop when Steve presented me with a huge bunch of star-gazer lilies.

“It’s certainly no watermelon,” I gasped and greedily snapped them from him.

I could happily paint myself in bright orange pollen to be able to bury my face in a bunch of star-gazers.

“What brought this on,” I asked

“Nothing much, really,” Steve continued to smile. “The sun was shining, the surf was up, and I felt like sharing a bit of the Creator’s handiwork with you today.”

To say the least, Steve was anything but typical. Sure the sun bleached long hair, deep tan, and lean body fit in just fine on the Pacific Shores boardwalk. But, he was also a bit of a hippie and ran an organic produce store next to my surf shop. His store’s success was due more to his magnetic personality than anyone’s particular desire for fresh green beans. Everybody loved the philosophical purveyor of produce. There was never a shortage of women next door, which certainly was a good excuse for the guys to come in and browse through the boards and gear in my shop.

Something in his demeanor was different, more intense, that morning. I felt drawn to him. He put his hands about my waist and pulled me close to his side.

“Danielle,” he whispered, “close up the shop and run away with me for the day.” His suggestion was warm and sultry on the back of my neck. “The day is going to be incredibly beautiful. If you step out on the boardwalk, you can hear the song of the surf. Why stay indoors, doing what we can do any day? Carpe Diem, Danielle. Let’s seize today and live the way the Creator intended, in tune with His creation.” He sealed the suggestion on my skin with a velvety kiss.

The thought was so powerful, I was nearly breathless. I turned in his arms to face him.

“But, Steve,” I started to object, but he covered my mouth in his and kissed the life out of the objection.

Releasing the kiss he backed away only as far as the ends of our noses. “I have fresh mangos and strawberries, dark chocolate, and champagne. Come lay on the beach and celebrate the day with me,” he purred softly against my lips.

My body began to give in to the deep caressing strokes he ran along my back. My lips fell again upon his and a consuming passion ignited.

Then a sharp angry whistling noise began assaulting my ears. Steve walked in the door just as I lifted my chin from my palm.

“Good morning, gorgeous. Daydreaming so early?” He was carrying a small crate of mangos. “I wasn’t kidding yesterday when I told you about my mango tree,” his smile caused the skin around his eyes to crinkle.

It was then that I realized it was the tea-pot screaming, about to boil over. I scurried back to take it off the hot plate.

“I need to get back to the store, Danielle. Come by for lunch later,” he called as he set the brass bell above the surf shop door jingling on his way out.

“He’s such a nice guy,” I thought to myself. “Someday I should tell him what all the daydreams have been about.